Governor Katie Hobbs Announces Federal Grant to Study Potential Restart of Daily Passenger Rail Between Phoenix and Tucson

News Release

December 8, 2023

Phoenix, AZ – Today, Governor Katie Hobbs announced Arizona has received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to continue studying the potential of restarting Amtrak service between Phoenix and Tucson. The federal funding builds on $3.5 million state leaders committed for planning of passenger rail service.

“I am thrilled to deliver this critical funding for Arizonans,” said Governor Katie Hobbs. “With this money, Arizona is working toward improving its connection to our two largest cities through passenger rail, helping grow our economy, reduce pollution, and better connect two booming communities. I would like to thank ADOT Director Toth for her hard work securing this grant and our congressional partners for their advocacy at the federal level. Together, I know we can continue making smart investments in our state’s infrastructure and create good-paying jobs for Arizonans.”

“Amtrak ridership is soaring and we’re advancing plans to further enhance and expand our services across the United States with our various partners, thanks to these grants,” said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner. “We’re eager to bring the benefit of Amtrak’s network and experience to support states and local communities as they work to bring intercity passenger rail to new communities across America.”

“With this investment under our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re one step closer to bringing Amtrak service back to Phoenix for the first time in 25 years.” said Congressman Greg Stanton. “Not only will daily passenger rail service connect our communities–it’ll boost our regional economy with better access to jobs and more private investment along the route. I’ve worked hard to make Amtrak expansion in Arizona possible, and I’ll keep working with Governor Hobbs and ADOT to get this project across the finish line.”

“In Phoenix, connectivity is everything – from investments in our light rail system to expanding bus routes, we know that transit unleashes opportunities that help families and businesses prosper,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “Today’s news is huge because it means we are another step closer to re-establishing much-needed rail service between Arizona’s two largest cities. Train service between Phoenix and Tucson will spur economic activity, help reduce congestion on the busy I-10, and ultimately kickstart private and public investments along the rail corridor. I’m grateful to Governor Hobbs for including $3.5 million for the rail study in her budget and look forward to additional developments as we continue pushing for this critical route.”

“We are taking an important step towards connecting the two largest cities in Arizona through rail,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. “I want to thank Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs and the Arizona Department of Transportation, Congressman Greg Stanton and the rest of our federal delegation for leveraging federal and state dollars to invest in this planning effort. Since 2021, I have been working with my fellow Mayors along with Pima and Maricopa counties to bring passenger rail to connect our families, grow our economies, improve safety along our interstate, and reduce pollution along the Sun Corridor.”

“Passenger rail connecting the Phoenix and Tucson areas would give people commuting between the two regions another transportation option,” said ADOT Director Jennifer Toth. “Being able to advance Arizona’s proposal through the Corridor Identification and Development Program holds promise for economic growth, employment, and enhanced mobility.”